The Pre 1900 History of the odd fellows, PA Grand Lodge.

The History of The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Lodge, No. 1, was self-instituted at Philadelphia, December 26th, 1821. John B. Robinson, P. G., of Franklin Lodge, New York, while in Philadelphia on a business trip, invited, through the public papers, the brethren of the city to organize a Lodge.

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Pennsylvania Lodge‚ No. 1

1821 — The first member admitted was Thomas Hepworth, who immediately took the place of Bro. Robinson as Secretary.

The Lodge was prosperous from the first, and nothing was wanting to render it stable, except the vitality that comes from a Warrant granted by the proper authority. The Lodge soon felt that a Charter was necessary, and applied to Columbia Lodge, New York, for a Dispensation. Pending this application, Grand Master Wildey, on his way to New York and Boston, stopped in the city, and visited the Lodge. He persuaded the brethren to petition the Grand Lodge of Maryland and of the United States for a Charter.

The following brothers met at the house of John Upton, at No. 66 Dock Street, and instituted the Lodge:

  • John Pearce‚ N. G.
  • James Day‚ V. G.
  • John B. Robinson‚ Sec.
  • John Upton‚ T.
  • Samuel Croucher‚ Guar.

First IOOF Lodge in Pennsylvania, Decmeber 26, 1821.
Charter for Pennsylvania Lodge

Grand Secretary Entwisle received the above letter.

1823 – At the same time that the Charter for Pennsylvania Lodge was given, a Charter was granted for a Grand Lodge to be located in Philadelphia. Grand Master Wildey, on the above date, instituted the Grand Lodge, and installed the following Officers:

  • Aaron Nichols‚ G. M.
  • Thomas Small‚ D. G. M.
  • Benjamin Richardson‚ G. W.
  • Benjamin Daffin‚ G. Sec.
  • Joseph Richardson‚ G. T.

1827 – A new Charter was granted May 1st.

1829 – The Grand Encampment was instituted at Philadelphia, by Charter from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, June 19th, when the following Officers were installed:

  • Isaac Brown‚ G. P.
  • James M. Mullen‚ G. H. P.
  • Andrew Anderson‚ G. S. W.
  • Thomas Small‚ G. Scr.
  • John Postill‚ G. T.
  • Lawrence O'Connor‚ G. J. W.
  • Adam Hamerick‚ G. Guar.

An Encampment of Patriarchs was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on August 16th. It was subsequently known as Philadelphia Encampment, No. 1.

Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Charter

1840 — The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania adopted the following:

Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania will
relinquish all jurisdiction over Encampments in this State,
to the Grand Lodge of the United States.

This was done in order to do away with the anomalous condition of independence of the Encampments. The Grand Encampment surrendered its Charter, received from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, to the Grand Lodge of the United States, which then granted a new Charter, with a note appended thereto, reciting the date of the Charter from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, in order that the former ranks of seniority might be preserved. The Grand Encampment was also directed to recall the Charters heretofore granted to Subordinates, and issued new ones of the same tenor, so far as the same was not inconsistent with the new jurisdiction, noting on each the date of the old Charter.

1841 —The Charter granted by the Grand Lodge of the United States, was presented on the 26th of October.

The PA Sovereign Lodge
Information obtained from

Odd Fellowship It's History and Manual
The History and Manual of Odd Fellowship

By Theo. A. Ross
Past Grand Secretary of the Sovereign Grand Lodge

Copyright 1887 - 1895 - 1897 - 1899 - 1908
M. W. Hazen Company